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Kitty Hawk Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What injury risks do you face working in a hospital?

When you make your living working in a North Carolina hospital, you face unique and considerable on-the-job hazards that potentially expose you to illness and injury. In addition to the obvious risks associated with working with ailing patients, you also face unique hazards specific to your work environment that have the capacity to affect your future health and wellness.

Today’s hospital work environments are so dangerous, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that hospital employees suffer injuries at nearly twice the rate of workers in the private sector. In 2011 alone, for example, hospital employees reported suffering 58,860 work-related injuries and illnesses. Just what types of job-specific risks do you face working in a hospital?

How medical treatment works under workers' compensation

After suffering a workplace injury, getting the right treatment can make a great difference in your recovery and general wellbeing. Thus, many people are unhappy to learn that North Carolina workers' compensation law limits their ability to research and choose a provider.

When you file for workers' comp, you receive a list of approved providers to select from. You must see someone from that list or else risk your chance to receive the benefits you need.

Filing a third-party lawsuit for a workplace injury

Most people know that if you suffer injury at work, you can apply for workers' compensation benefits. On one hand, this process is simpler than a lawsuit and does not require proving negligence; on the other, available benefits have some strict limitations. For example, pain and suffering is generally not a kind of loss workers' comp will pay for.

However, in some situations, an injured worker may be able to file a third-party lawsuit in addition to applying for workers' comp benefits. This possibility arises when the party actually at fault for the injury is not your employer.

Is pain and suffering included in a workers' comp claim?

Pain and suffering often comes up in personal injury cases. From a legal perspective, it refers to the physical and mental pain an individual experiences after an injury that attorneys attempt to quantify. When one North Carolina motorist suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, she attempted to gain compensation for pain and suffering in addition to other expenses. 

When a workplace injury occurs, the employee will need to file a workers' compensation claim to receive payment for various expenses. Workers often wonder if pain and suffering is part of that compensation package, but the truth of the matter is that it is usually separate.

Always appeal a workers' comp decision

Employees in numerous industries sustain injuries on the job site every year. In North Carolina, workers are eligible to file for workers' compensation, which can provide medical benefits and compensation for both temporary and permanent disability

However, many workers become disheartened when they file for workers' comp only to receive a denial in the mail weeks later. The important thing to remember when this happens is to not panic. Many employees initially receive a denial, and you want to make sure you appeal the decision rather than re-submit an entirely new application. 

Can your boss fire you for making a workers’ compensation claim?

You know that workers’ compensation is meant to pay for your medical expenses and recovery time if you suffer an injury on the job. However, a friend recently told you a horror story that has you worried about what might happen if you file a workers’ compensation claim. You and other North Carolina residents should understand your rights regarding workers’ compensation retaliation and discrimination.

In your friend’s experience, he filed for workers’ compensation after a serious job-related injury that put him out of work for several weeks. When his rest period was nearly up, his boss informed him that he no longer had a job. Your friend felt that his employer retaliated against him for filing a workers’ compensation claim, instead of using his own health insurance like his boss had told him to do.

3 reasons not to give up on your workers' compensation claim

Pursuing workers' compensation is often a necessity after you have suffered an injury on the job. Whether the severity of the injury renders you temporarily disabled or simply calls for a brief break from work, you need to know that the accident will not devastate your finances. This is why it is so important for employers to carry sufficient workers' comp insurance and take all claims seriously.

When you report your injury to your employer, it should provide you with the documents necessary to file a claim, which it then forwards to the insurer. Though this process may seem straightforward enough, many injured workers see their claims denied. Consider the following three reasons you should not give up. 

4 tips for nurses to avoid back injuries

Working as a nurse in a hospital setting is a physically demanding job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nurses have a significant risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. One of the most common musculoskeletal complications among health care workers is back pain.

One reason that so many nurses suffer from back injuries is from lifting and transferring patients. While this is an inherent hazard of being a nurse, there are some steps you can take to reduce the threat of suffering a career-ending back injury. 

How to appeal an SSD denial

If you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits, you are probably already well aware that this can be a complicated and difficult process. Although your claim may seem rather straightforward and without a doubt deserving of benefits, the Social Security Administration, SSA, denies a large majority of claims on the first application.

However, what is important to note about that phrase is the fact that it mentions on the "first" application. This implies that many people appeal their denials and can be successful on a second try. Although the process can be challenging, there is a way you can increase your chances of success.

Is my job protected if I file for workers' compensation?

If you suffered an injury on the job, there are likely lots of questions you still have unanswered. In addition to recovering from your injury, you may have to deal with other important issues such as medical bills and possible missed time off work. Perhaps the most important question of all is: What happens now to your job?

Many people who sustain an injury at work fear that if they file a workers' compensation claim, they will lose their job. The truth is that your employer cannot fire you for filing a legitimate claim for workers' compensation in the state of North Carolina. 

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